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Arts & Culture

GoNOLA Recommends: 5 Things To Do In New Orleans This Weekend

The Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

This weekend in New Orleans promises plenty of cultural experiences in all shapes and sizes. Literature and theatre fans will flock to the many activities that are part of this weekend’s Tennessee Williams Festival in the French Quarter. Music lovers have two great lineups to choose from: electronic, indie and hip hop music will be showcased at BUKU Music + Art Project, while the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival will feature traditional and modern takes on music from around the world. Sample beers at the New Orleans International Beer Festival this Saturday, or check out the Mardi Gras Indians as they show off their unique style on Super Sunday. There’s no excuse for being bored this weekend!

The “Stella! Shouting Contest” at Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

All Weekend

1. Tennessee Williams Festival – Now in its 28th year, the Tennessee Williams Festival is an annual five day celebration of all things Tennessee Williams, which brings together national and regional scholars, writers, and performing artists. Programming for the event includes panel discussions, theatrical performances, a one-act play competition, a fiction contest, literary walking tours, a bookfair, and perhaps most notably, the Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest in Jackson Square, where contestants re-enact the famous scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. Find more information and tickets for the Tennessee Williams Festival online.

Friday and Saturday

2. BUKU Music + Art Project – A relative newcomer to the spring music festival scene in New Orleans, BUKU Music + Art Project was founded in 2012 and features a blend of electronic, indie, hip-hop and local music. This year’s headliners include The Flaming Lips, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, Explosions in the Sky, Chromeo, Beats Antique, Sleigh Bells and many more. The event is now held annually at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World (1380 Port of New Orleans Place), and general admission, VIP and single day passes are can be purchased on the BUKU website.

Saturday and Sunday

3. Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival – Celebrate the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the African diaspora this weekend at the 7th annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival, March 22-23, in Armstrong Park. This free event, organized by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, will feature traditional and modern takes on African music and dance, plus Caribbean rhythms, world music and more. The family friendly festival will run from 11 a.m. til 7 p.m. each day, and also includes an arts market with dozens of vendors selling locally-produced and handmade arts and crafts.

Saturday, March 22

4. New Orleans International Beer Festival – Craft beer fans will flock to Champions Square this Saturday, March 22 for the New Orleans International Beer Festival, where attendees will have the chance to sample over 150 different brews from around the world. The event is sponsored by Abita Beer, and also features other local breweries including Lazy Magnolia, Bayou Teche Brewing, Parish Brewing Co., Dixie Beer and many more. General Admission tickets are available for $40 in advance, with discounted tickets for designated drivers available as well.

Sunday, March 23

5. Super Sunday – If you missed seeing the Mardi Gras Indians on Mardi Gras day, and you went looking for them last Sunday but didn’t see any, never fear! The tribes come out to strut their stuff for Super Sunday this weekend – the event was rescheduled due to anticipated rainfall last weekend. The Uptown groups will meet in Central City at noon at A.L. Davis Park, at the corner of Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street and parade through the neighborhood. The Tambourine and Fan organization stages their parade for the downtown tribes at Bayou St. John and Orleans Avenue in Mid-City. If you haven’t got your fix after this weekend, just wait, because in recent years the Mardi Gras Indians have begun hosting an additional event called “Big Sunday” in April, the weekend between French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest. Learn more about the history of the Mardi Gras Indians. UPDATE: This event has been POSTPONED.

Mallory Whitfield is an artist, speaker, and author based in New Orleans. In 2016, she was honored to be included in the 19th class of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, which salutes the brightest innovators, artists, and professionals in New Orleans. She currently hosts the Badass Creatives podcast, which features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs. During Mardi Gras, you can usually find her parading with Noisician Coalition in Muses or with The 501st Legion in Tucks.

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